Saturday, April 21, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg man faces manslaughter charge after fatal bar fight, police say

ST. PETERSBURG — A 32-year-old man faces a manslaughter charge after a Sunday night bar fight that cost a man his life, according to St. Petersburg police.

Vincent Hollingsworth, 62, was playing pool Sunday night at the Stinger Bar on 2222 49th St. S when he got into a fight with his opponent, police said, striking him several times in the face with a cue ball.

Two bouncers at the bar broke up the fight and separated the two men. But then police said Mario Stephens, 32, came up behind Hollingsworth and hit him over the head with a beer bottle.

The bouncers attempted to hold Stephens back, according to St. Petersburg police, but he got around them and struck Hollingsworth several more times with the beer bottle and his fist.

Hollingsworth fell, police said, and hit his head on the pool table.

Paramedics took Hollingsorth to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg where he was pronounced dead Monday at 12:33 a.m.

Stephens left the bar in a car, but was later seen in the area and arrested.

He has previous arrests on charges including battery on a law enforcement officer and cocaine possession, records show. He was being held Monday at the Pinellas County jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

This is the second time in two years that a man has died at the bar. Juan Javier Oquendo shot and killed James Cason, 33, after the two argued in the parking lot on April 14, 2015.

The bar attracts a rowdy crowd, with patrons often arguing in the parking lot in the middle of the night and blasting music from their cars, said Aharon Evans, whose mother moved next door to Stinger Bar a few months ago.

"They need to shut that place down," said Evans, 28. "There's always people yelling and screaming at each other."

Evans said he was sad to hear the news, but wasn't surprised. Though he doesn't get nervous about the home's proximity to the bar, he said his mother, who moved from Treasure Island, is looking to leave the area as soon as her lease is up.

"Nothing but negativity radiates from that place," he said. "It's a bunch of drunk idiots who are disrespectful to everyone in this neighborhood."

The owner of the Stinger Bar could not be found for comment. The bar was closed Monday afternoon.

Times senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Caitlin Johnston at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779. Follow @cljohnst.

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